New answers tagged

5

My experience with this sort of issue has been in teaching astronomy classes for gen ed students in which we deal with the Big Bang. In this context (which differs somewhat from yours), I think it's a good idea not to completely shut down questions about religion. A student who is a business major may have very little understanding of how science works and ...


1

If I'm understanding the context correctly, this is a group of students who are first-year undergraduates, probably mostly engineering majors, taking a linear algebra course that comes in their lower-division math sequence after a year of calculus. Re this specific type of course, this may depend on the text and the professor, but usually they start with a ...


-3

Answer: "I have no idea why you are bringing this up here. Speculations on motivations of hypothetical omnipotent beings are not part of this lecture".


0

One tiny suggestion that works wonders: Instead of asking "Any questions?" ask "What questions do you have for me?" This is an invitation for questions. I tried this out this semester and have been amazed at how many more questions I get because they feel that it is okay to ask questions. Another suggestion is help them get to know each other. I put people ...


3

Many secular universities have theology faculty. You can suggest that your students ask them theological questions. This is the same as if I, a physicist, when asked about human perception of sound, suggested that students ask you.


9

You were correct in not engaging in religious argument in an academic setting. But a valid answer, that is probably acceptable to most people, whatever their faith, is, "I don't know. Your question is outside the realm of science." If further asked, "What do you believe?", you can say that it is a private matter. Unfortunately too many religious ...


14

@cag51 makes good points, but I want to focus on this aspect of your question: The professor may not know every aspect and every trend in the subject he is teaching. If (s)he says that I don't know, then, the respect for the professor may go down. Else if (s)he says that it is beyond the scope of the course then the research aspirancy of the students may ...


6

1) How should a professor react to the most advanced questions from her students of a basic course, if (s)he knows the answer? It depends on how long it would take to explain the answer. If it is a matter of a minute or so, the professor can just answer. If it is going to be a lengthy digression, wasting the time of most of the class, these days I suggest ...


13

I would suggest two principles: build and reward engagement, and speak to the whole class. Reward engagement: Someone asked you a question about something related to the course material you're presenting? Awesome! That student is engaged and interested! That's great to see. I recommend you choose an answer that rewards rather than penalizes that -- so a ...


5

If you were the professor for the course, I'd give a different answer, but consider the following. I'll assume that you have the same group for each meeting, rather than a random selection of students that changes randomly over time. This lets you set expectations and a general flow. One problem you may be encountering is that the students haven't yet ...


29

1) How should a professor react to the most advanced questions from her students of a basic course, if (s)he knows the answer? I would distinguish between reasonable and obnoxious questions. If the question is reasonable, then I would give a concise answer and encourage "offline" follow up. The question in your example seems reasonable -- it's essentially ...


2

I’ve never heard of such a scheme, but it’s a cool idea and potentially worth trying. One drawback I can think of is that it puts weak students at a disadvantage* that could be seen as unfair since it compounds the disadvantage they already suffer from by being weak - a kind of “the poor get poorer” effect. If we imagine a weak student who isn’t lazy or a ...


6

I assume that your goal is not just to catch and fail the free riders but to see to it that they actually do the work that will result in learning. However, I'll note that having a goal of "sharing the work equally" is unattainable except over time and/or averaged over many different interactions. The most radical suggestion here is to flip the classroom ...


3

The general answer isn't really a number. I expect that in most cases a teaching load is similar to that of a regular faculty member, though that isn't necessarily the case. The semester, trimester, quarter system defines how many regular terms there are per year, with trimester and quarter often being synonymous. It is the number of terms that most ...


1

Write down everything that happened and when. Tell your advisor about it. It's their job to help you. There's no excuse for sexist teaching. It cannot be tolerated. I suggest you limit your complaints to this main issue. The other issues just complicate the situation unnecessarily. It's unclear who supervises TAs in your situation, but your advisor ...


0

A good teacher should be more concerned about conveying knowledge than feeding their own ego. In this case the fact that you are considering moving your lectures for them makes you sound like a good teacher. I'd say 4/20 is a pretty significant number. Maybe check with the other 16 students for their availability before you decide to move it.


-2

Complain to the university. You're paying good money to attend classes, and it wouldn't be ethical for a professor to do something that'd negatively impact your ability to attend your other classes. There's probably a Student Ombudsman, a Dean of Students, or someone with a similar position employed by your university, who might be able to help you make a ...


3

Is it unethical? Yes. Is it worse than the alternative (usually canceling class)? Probably only slightly. Is it worth reporting? Only if it happens repeatedly.


0

Workshops are shorter and therefore can be opened more frequently. Main lectures for a class are more important. I see this as a lack of or correct prioritization and/or time administration; young people tend to be impulsive, comfortable childish and kind of wild, demand that they make sure the workshop is higher priority and can't be opened some other time. ...


4

Two thoughts: (1) You may be under contractual obligation to hold scheduled classes. (If so, you may want to point this out to the students if they become insistent that you cancel.) (2) It may not be fair to other students in the class to let a few students get to, in effect, cancel a class. I would tell the students that it is fine for them to attend ...


3

An easy way around the problem is to record the lecture on camera.


1

From my very limited experience, I would say universities that participate in TEF would care about having academic staff with HEA fellowships (and there are many levels of fellowship). In my view, getting one will only work in your advantage. For what it is worth, I have been asked about having/willing to get the accreditation during job interviews, so I ...


1

Everything I have read about such issues indicates that maximal learning occurs when multiple information channels are engaged. This is what the "see hear do" thing is all about. Multiple channels through the brain give maximum chance of retention. https://controlstation.com/the-power-of-the-hear-see-do-learning-method/ https://www.amazon.ca/ABC-See-Hear-Do-...


0

For students with disabilities having the notes ahead of time can be critical. Many deaf students literally cannot "listen" and take notes at the same time since they have to look at the talker to lip read or look at the interpreter. Interpreters can really benefit from having something to follow and at least a few minutes to brush up on terminology. For ...


6

I'm assuming these are not frivolous workshops. In a large university, often one department doesn't really know what the others are doing and schedules are difficult if you want to learn stuff from multiple departments. So if these are "serious" workshops, you can be a bit accommodating. Especially since this is not an overly full class. You don't want this ...


5

There is contradictory evidence I think on whether for the general student, providing materials is beneficial or not. For example, a study finding a benefit in providing notes: Raver, S. A., & Maydosz, A. S. (2010). Impact of the provision and timing of instructor-provided notes on university students’ learning. Active Learning in Higher Education, 11(...


8

From the comments: I provide the notes, worked example and further practice questions on Moodle for those who do, and do not, attend without fear or favour. If they choose to attend a workshop instead of your class, they are still receiving the material so are not at a disadvantage (other than missing out on what I'm sure is a superb lecture). They are ...


2

Anecdotal evidence, but based on learning theory. There is no reason it can't be both. Actually it should be both. If you distribute your notes ahead of time, either electronically or on paper, the students can actually use those notes, when printed, as the basis for their own notes. I other words, the students can mark up your notes with their own ...


32

There is really no need to do this. Lecture is an efficient way for a single person to help a group to learn, but it isn't the most effective way for an individual to learn material. There are other ways to learn the material and they need to become familiar with them. Books, notes, discussions, but most important, exercises to make the material part of ...


102

If you do this for a minority, then you will have to do it every time a few students have some excuse. I suggest that you don’t consider this and make it clear that if they miss lectures then it is up to them to catch up on material. Providing double or triple repeats of lectures due to a few absences, especially if unpaid, is not a good use of your time. ...


0

The 'transaction' you and your students are engaged in is between you [the university] and themselves [the student]. If you are secure that your assessment was adequate and fair, there is nothing to be gained in comparing students against each other, especially publicly. If you are not secure in your testing methodology, you might consider grading on a ...


2

Well, the are two sides to the answer. It's either the exam went well or it didn't. If it didn't, I am not sure your tutee will be comfortable to tell you about it. Another thing is that your tutee may also expect you to ask how it went, to show you care. So it depends. Regardless though, it's not a bad thing to ask a student how the exam went.


1

I'm asking this because I've attended many lectures given by well-known researchers and somehow they're all surprisingly good. While I can't identify any academics that are good researchers and poor teachers, I will note that there is good reason to think that good research and good teaching would be (at least weakly) positively correlated, and therefore it ...


3

If you ask are there "any" then the answer is clearly yes. But, like anything else, skills are learned. I turned out to be a good teacher, beloved by my students (mostly - some exceptions). But I started out as a terrible teacher with really poor ideas about how people learn. If you don't do something (a lot) you aren't going to get very good at it. Being ...


54

As a tutor in undergrad, we were taught to ask "how did the exam go?" and not "what did you make on the exam?" The idea being that the tutee gets to project their feelings onto their score (some are happy with a 75) and gives them a way out ("ehh ok I guess"). It's implicit in these instructions that asking "how did the exam go?" is appropriate for the ...


61

I expected her to inform me how the exam went I'm not sure why you expected this. While it's certainly not unusual to follow up with a tutor (or thank them), it's not a requirement. Is it appropriate to ask her how the exam went? I see no reason why not.


0

Most times you get the same recipe, let's say a pie crust recipe but measurement amounts are different. Sometimes it is 2 cups or 2.5 cups or in grams but the ratio is the same. If you were to reference your professor, s/he would not like it that you give his teaching material away. How to make your exercise sample yours, change proportions and examples....


3

Actually, I think it is easy to avoid most problems. Plagiarism is about presenting something of others as if it is your own. If you cite the source, giving proper attribution, you avoid plagiarism absolutely. Copyright is another issue, but it is about copying something for which you don't have the proper rights. You don't seem to be doing that. Taking a ...


7

As an alternative to basing your videos on someone else's work, I suggest writing your own exercises. Each exercise should bring out the issues you want to cover in the corresponding video. If you write your own exercises, on your own time, you own the copyright, and can do what you want with them, including creating videos about solving them. That would ...


1

You should ask whoever created the exercises for permission. If they give it to you, then you can proceed. If they don't give you permission, better to know before you create the videos so you can do something else. This is pretty much a good strategy any time you are dealing with copyright issues -- ask permission before you use the material.


2

Avoid first morning classes: students miss busses, get delayed etc. The first class of the day is always the most disrupted. Moreover, it is difficult for me as an instructor to “get in teaching mode” when class starts so soon after I arrive (lest you are comfy with really early arrivals), Avoid classes at meal times: students have their mind (and their ...


1

In principle in public schools you need to be certified. In practice the shortage of STEM teachers means that you can sometimes get hired without this, but then in the first year you must complete the requirements for certification. This is the model that programs like Teach for America or NYC Teaching Fellows use. To earn a teaching certificate you need ...


5

Yes, it is an oversimplification overall. First, state laws vary about who can teach, and some laws apply to private schools as well. You may need certification or not to be hired, but in some places you will need to seek it afterwards. Most schools need to be certified by the state themselves, so the rules need to be followed. Whether having been a TA or ...


2

This depends on several factors: What is your mental rhythm during the day? What kind of teaching are you doing? What do you want to achieve with your teaching? How do you want to balance that objective against your research time? What is your mental rhythm during the day? Are you at your best in the morning, mid-day, or in the afternoon? In ...


3

Some students don't like to get up early in the morning, so attendance can suffer then. Just after lunch (or supper) can be hard as people can get drowsy. None of that is necessarily a problem if the course is interesting and you have a way to keep them active.


0

Let me suggest a few things. First, having some teaching experience is useful for most beginning academics. So a TA has value in itself. It shouldn't be hard to "sell" that. However, the professor now funning you has no input into who is a TA. That is normally a department decision. You apply there for a position, not to a particular professor. You may have ...


0

Some universities have a center or organization for teaching, which can provide resources for getting started. You might also check out https://opensyllabus.org/


0

Some do teaching as part of their Masters or PhD studies. Others do a teacher training course before, or after, Masters or PhD. Some do teacher training without wanting to do a Masters or PhD and teacher training courses can be short (about 1 year) or longer.


5

Many university professors have side gigs doing consulting work for industry, writing, starting companies and doing many other things. At all universities I’m familiar with this is permitted and to some extent even encouraged. Usually there will be a policy in place specifying how much outside work is permitted. For example, here is a link to the relevant ...


0

I'll just have to guess that most places will have regulations concerning, or even forbidding, this. But it is a big and variable world. But, at a minimum, a person contemplating doing this needs to check with the university administration, who may permit it or not. Or they might set some boundaries. I doubt that many would permit tutoring students at the ...


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